India Bazaar's big bash on track

Garbage strike posed problems, organizers say, but South Asia festival is ready to go

Perhaps no one was happier to see the garbage strike’s end than Subbu Chintaluri.

The manager of the Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Association is in the midst of preparing for the seventh annual TD Canada Trust Festival of South Asia, the neighbourhood’s biggest event of the year.

“It is kind of a relief for us that the strike is over,” he said. “We were worried because we spent a lot of money on preparations.
“Had the strike continued, it would have posed a big problem for us.”

Chintaluri said the business association used a chunk of its budget to keep the bazaar clean during the garbage strike, but it fortunately didn’t come down to cutting back on the festival.

Gerrard St. East between Greenwood and Coxwell Aves. will be closed to traffic for part of the three-day street fest, taking place Aug. 21–23.

The festival is a celebration of all the local Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, East African and Bangladeshi cultural groups that work and live in the east-end community.

The street party started out as a one-day May event back in 2002.

Chintaluri said they switched it to August to avoid rainy weather.

Usually two-days long, the fest has also been extended due to growing attendance, he said.

The festival kicks off Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. with the youth cultural showcase, which will include performances by the Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario Performing Arts Group, York University’s Indian Cultural Association and the University of Toronto’s Bollywood dance team, Chak De Patte.

Festivalgoers will also get to sample dishes from local eateries.

For more information, visit www.festivalofsouthasia.com.


About this article:

By: Karolyn Coorsh
Posted: Aug 19 2009 12:34 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto